Investing.com - The pound remained lower against the dollar on Monday, as tensions over the crisis in Ukraine hit market sentiment, despite the release of strong U.K. data on manufacturing and mortgage approvals.
GBP/USD hit session lows of 1.6702, and was last down 0.13% to 1.6723.
Cable was likely to find support at 1.6675, Friday’s low, and near-term resistance at 1.6767, Friday’s high.
Escalating tensions over the unfolding crisis in the Ukraine sparked a broad-based selloff in risk assets, following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to send troops into the Crimea region over the weekend.
Ukraine''s interim government has called for more international support to force Russian troops to leave.
The move sparked fears that the West will impose economic sanctions against Russia. Russia’s central bank hiked interest rates from 5.5% to 7% on Monday, after the rouble fell to new record lows against the euro and dollar.
Earlier Monday, data showed that the strong upswing in the U.K. manufacturing sector continued in February, with jobs growth in the sector accelerating to a 33-month high.
The Markit U.K. manufacturing purchasing managers’ index for February came in at 56.9, up from a revised 56.6 in January. Analysts had expected the index to tick down to 56.5.
A separate report showed that the number of mortgages approved in the U.K. rose to 76,947 in February, the highest level since November 2007, from 72,798 in January.
Elsewhere, the euro was lower against sterling, with EUR/GBP sliding 0.19% to 0.8227.
In the euro zone, data on Monday confirmed that the region’s manufacturing purchasing managers’ index declined to 53.2 in February from 54.0 in January. It was the first dip in five months, highlighting the fragile nature of the recovery in the euro area.
The rate of decline in France’s manufacturing sector eased in February, while activity in Germany’s manufacturing sector rose for the eighth straight month.
Investors were looking ahead to a report on U.S. manufacturing activity from the Institute of Supply Management later in the trading day.
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